I could only fathom two reasons for the amount of campaigning Aamir Khan did before the release of this movie – Jaane Tu…was either a disastrous movie that Aamir was trying to save via a great publicity campaign or the fact that Aamir believed it was that damn good. After watching it, the answer seems to lie between the two extremes. Jaane Tu…Ya Jaane Na is certainly not a launch vehicle going straight to hell like Love Story 2050.
One of the biggest reasons why Jaane Tu…will not suffer the same fate as the over-budgeted, futuristic dud that released on the same weekend is the fact that its lead actor Imran Khan can definitely act! He’s no Aamir (or even Darsheel for that matter) but you have to say that he pulls off the role of a mild-mannered, lovable, college-going chocolate boy more genuinely than the likes of Shahid Kapoor. Everytime Imran appears on screen it looks lesser like he’s trying to act and more like he’s being himself on screen. The fact that he’s so comfortable in his skin on screen and doesn’t require macho action scenes and suave dance moves to get the audiences to love him are testimony to his talent. One can see an Aamir Khan influence in that regard at least.
Coming to his leading lady, one has to say that for someone who was written off after her disastrous debut opposite Riteish Deshmukh Tujhe Meri Kasam, Genelia D’Souza delivers a performance that should ensure that she doesn’t need to head down south due to lack of Bollywood offers like the last time. She’s the kind of actress that you’ll either fall in love or totally despise depending on the context in which she’s portrayed. But by placing her into the shoes of an effervescent, tomboyish, Bombay-hindi speaking, college girl debutante director Abbas Tyrewala delivers a masterstroke.
In fact that is the case with this movie more often than not. Actors who would stick out like sore thumbs in any other movie, fit snugly into the script. Where else would you look forward to seeing Arbaaz and Sohail Khan? Paresh Rawal too, who has been wasted to no end by the now-jaded and unfunny Priyadarshan shines in a well-written cameo. But the best cameos in this one come from Ratna Pathak-Shah and Naseeruddin Shah. The couple’s real-life chemistry translates easily on screen, even though Naseeruddin Shah is confined to a photo-frame throughout the movie. Prateik Babbar who plays Genelia’s brother too must be praised
And finally kudos to AR Rahman once again for his versatility as a musician. Who else in India can cater to movies as diverse as Jodhaa Akbar and Jaane Tu… in the same year whilst doing equal justice to both?
On the flipside however, one wonders why the sublime Rajat Kapoor was wasted so wantonly in a movie where he could have worked wonders. And for the last time, do we really need an abusive Casanova type fiancé to convince the leading lady about her love for the lead-guy? The group chemistry too hasn’t been tapped to its fullest potential a la Rang De Basanti. Instead we have strategically placed token Gujju guy jokes, which though funny, cannot make up for the lack of footage given to the rest of the characters.
At the end of the day, Jaane Tu…Ya Jaane Na alternates between a witty and a ‘throw-your-brains-out-the-window’ movie with more wittiness than zaniness. This may not be the movie of the year, nor the defining youth movie in Bollywood. But it’s a genuine entertainer which gifts Bollywood a new, easy to love, accessible, non-wooden star – Imran Khan. He can defnitely act, saala!
Rating: 3 out of 5.
What the Ratings Mean:
0 – Terrible Beyond Imagination
1 – Mostly Pathetic
2 – Strictly OK
3 – Good
4 – Very Good
5 – Bow Down and Worship!